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2018 was East Anglia’s sunniest year – and one of the hottest on record

PUBLISHED: 14:38 03 January 2019

Hot weather in Felixstowe bring out thousands of beach goers. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Hot weather in Felixstowe bring out thousands of beach goers. Picture: GREGG BROWN

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East Anglia had its sunniest year on record in 2018 – and it was the fourth hottest ever recorded in the region.

The streets of Ipswich were covered in a blanket of white as the 'Beast from the East' descendedin late February/early March.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe streets of Ipswich were covered in a blanket of white as the 'Beast from the East' descendedin late February/early March. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The details have emerged from Norwich-based forecasters Weatherquest now that all the records from across the year have been collected and analysed.

The long, hot summer of 2018 meant that the year as a whole did turn out to be the sunniest since records for sunshine levels started to be kept by meteorologists in 1929.

The heatwave from early June to the end of July was accompanied by blistering sunshine as the whole region enjoyed glorious weather.

Ironically the heatwave broke at the start of the school holidays – and while there were many fine days in August, overall that month was much more typical of a “normal” British summer.

The hot summer followed a particularly cold winter and early spring especially when the “Beast from the East” hit much of southern England during late February and early March.

Dan Holley from Weatherquest agreed that 2018 had been a year of extremes – many felt that the region never really had a spring as the weather seemed to change from winter to summer within 24 hours.

Mr Holley said: “Spring is a season of changes, but this year it did seem to veer from one way to the other very quickly. It was very cold at the start of April, but by the end of the month there were some record high temperatures.”

One aspect of 2018 that was unremarkable was the rainfall level – it was about 10% below average in most of the region, but weather experts didn’t see that as a major variation.

Mr Holley said: “The amount of rain that fell in 2018 wasn’t really remarkable as a whole. There was the long period in June and July when there was no rain – and the late autumn and early winter has been drier than usual, but there is nothing particularly unusual in that.”

And while forecasters are reluctant to read too much into one year’s weather statistics, Mr Holley thought the high temperatures did show something of a trend.

He said: “The temperature statistics that we use here go back to 1910. Of the 10 hottest years on record, eight (including 2018) have been since the year 2000 and the other two were in the 1990s – so perhaps there is something of a trend that has developed here.”

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